Paul Clark

How did you come to know of KIALOA and how did you team up?

I live in Bend, Oregon. Everybody paddles KIALAO here. When planning a Baja SUP trip, I approached Dave about making a custom travel paddle. He was receptive and we have worked on a variety of unique paddled ever since, including the new Kialoa whitewater paddle the Big Eddy.

What does being a steward of the KIALOA brand mean to you?

Being a steward of the Kialoa means I get to work with a brand that cares about paddling and innovation, and sharing the love of being on the water.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

  • I’ve been lucky to combine my love for outdoor athletic and adventure with photography. That combination has allowed me to make a living doing what I love, namely travel in adventurous ways and documenting the experiences.  
  • I have paddled the entire 1,000-mile Sea of Cortez coast along Baja twice, both times solo in a kayak.
  • As SUPPAUL, I am promoting adventure paddle boarding by hosting river clinics, outfitting expeditions, and paddling in exciting places. This last winter I lead 8-day SUP-support paddle board trips in Patagonia.

What's are some of your favorite things to do?

  • Spend quality time with my wife.
  • Explore new rivers and introduce people the the fundamentals of river SUP.
  • Drive a camper van across the western states and parking along wild rivers.
  • Chat with strangers.
  • Edit photos and videos in coffee shops.

What's your favorite food?
Meat in bread or smoothies I make myself with spinach, blueberries, pineapple, and coconut water.

What is your favorite restaurant in Bend, OR? Spork, food cart Lot, or El Sancho.

What music are you listening to?

Sylvan Esso, Glass Animals, Milky Chance, Christine and the Queens, 50Cent.

Favorite place to visit?

I have traveled to Panama, Baja, Chile, Argentina, Japan, Alaska, Colorado, and all over the Pacific Northwest in the last couple years. I really like Japan. And I really like the rivers of Oregon. 

How did you get started in paddle sports.

When I began paddling several years ago it was a new way for me to travel self-propelled for many days. When I discovered sea kayaking, I was already a long distance hiker and back country skier. Kayaking just made sense. When I discovered SUP I immediately gravitated to it, especially touring. In Oregon where I live the best touring opportunities are on rivers.  So, I had to learn how to run rivers on a paddle board. As such, I have built a reputation of being the “duffle bag paddle boarder” and a pioneer river SUP paddler.

What do you like to eat/drink after paddling?

Calories. I’m not too picky. But in Chile where the food sucks, I missed salads and fresh vegetables, french pressed coffee and craft beer.

Proudest paddling moment?

Cleaning a difficult rapid is always exciting. The Notch in Big Eddy has been my training ground for quite some time. It's difficult on a board. There have been only a handful of SUP paddlers attempting to run it standing. I’m proud of my progress there. It’s why I happy the new Kialoa paddle is named Big Eddy.

I’m often more prideful, I guess, when my river sup students clean a rapid they were unsure of. Watching progression in others that you helped happen is rewarding.

What was your scariest paddling experience?

Sea kayaking in Baja, getting pushed off shore in big seas and seeing sharks.

Tell us a little about how you train for expedition paddling.

Training for an expedition requires a lot of logistic preparation and good fitness. In the field I often find myself paddling several hours a day. When I paddled 100 miles on lower Deschutes River in a single day that was a 16 hour push. So I have to be fit for that, have endurance. I slack line and ride my mountain bike when not paddling. I should do more cross training and stretching.

Where is your favorite place to paddle?

There are many rivers in the NorthWest that are amazing for paddle boarding. ClassI-III options abound. What's so awesome about the rivers here is the diversity of landscape, from deep forests to high desert. The Deschutes River in particular is my go-to.

Any paddlers you look up to?

I admire the different personalities and paddle techniques of many people on the river. River SUP is definitely a self-expression sport. I love paddling with and learning from Dan Gavere, Peter Hall, Andy Obrien, Mike Tavares, Masayuki Takahata, Bradley Hilton, and Rebecca Giddens just to name a few off the top of my head.

Were did you grow up and what was it like?

I was raised in Reno. I hated it. But Tahoe was right there. I hated it, too. But fortunately my mom made me go hike and ski and climb. Now I love the High Desert landscape and am grateful for being raised near so many outdoor opportunities.

What are some of the crazy fads you and your friends went through?

My life is full of fads. Punk rock to ROTC. High academic achievements and total disrespect for organized education.  Skate boarding, BMX, freeride telemark-sking, sport climbing…. Shaved head, dyed hair, long bangs….

What were some things that you and your friends did as kids?

I spent a lot of my youth entertaining myself. I liked to skate. My friends skated. When I was in the mountains I had different friends for that.

What did you get in trouble for most when you were young?

I got in trouble for cutting class. The crazy thing about that, is I would cut one class (say math) to go to classes I liked (like political science). My high school counselors thought I was a odd. I liked that.

What did you do for fun as a child?

Skated. Watched a lot of movies about skating. Skating was my introduction to board sports and the unique media surrounding it. I still harken to those skating days.